Happy Valentines Day … Meditative Mind Tea

In CategoryFood

This past week it’s been so severely cold. . .

in comes this delicate, floral tea, Meditative Mind.  Isn’t it the most beautiful tea you’ve ever seen?  The colors and textures are magnificent, and oh so  comforting.  The taste is ever so mild.

soothing, calming, stress-relief

Chinese white tea with jasmine pearls and rosebuds.

anti-oxidants + anti-aging + very low caffeine = Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Christmas Cookies

In CategoryFood

Yes!  It’s the holiday season which brings a plethora of delicious baked goodies.  A few days ago, I baked some of my family’s favorites:  Russian Teacakes and sugar cookies.

Enjoy making this cookie recipe with your family!

Russian Teacakes

(Thanks to the 1950’s version of Betty Crocker)


1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp.  vanilla

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

powder sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mix in flour, salt, and nuts until dough holds together.

Shape dough into 1 -inch balls.  Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake until set but not brown, 10-12 minutes.

Roll in powdered sugar while warm/ cool.  Roll in powdered sugar again when cool.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Enjoy the festivities of the season!


Dinner Surprise …Ole!

In CategoryFood

Sometimes the stars align, and things just fall into place … even if it’s just Saturday’s dinner.

Let me explain.

While I was out Saturday morning, one of my wonderful former students showed up on my doorstep with a dozen of his mom’s delicious homemade tamales.  He had remembered that I had been wanting to order tamales from his mom, but since I’m no longer a regular in the school scene, I never get a chance to place an order.  So this boy decided to take things in his own hands, and make a house delivery (with his mom’s help of course).

Not knowing which kind I preferred, red/pork/mild, or green/chicken/spicy, he delivered the first kind, then ran out to his car and brought out another dozen to cover all bases.  Woo hoo, we hit the mother lode.

Forward to dinner time.

After hearing of our new food acquisition, Second Son stepped up and offered to make us a complete dinner featuring the tamales as the stars.  I actually couldn’t believe this random act of kindness.  He had long given up cooking, which is too bad since he was an excellent cook in his past.  After a quick ingredient check, he began to whip up dinner (one he had made with friends a while ago).

First, he sauteed green, yellow and red peppers, and red onion in a little EVO (extra virgin olive oil), and seasoned it all up.

colorful veggie assortment

He then cut up romaine lettuce and baby cherry tomatoes, in order to make a bed out of them on the dinner plates.

During the last few minutes of sauteing,  he added fresh sliced mushrooms to the other veggies.  In a bowl, he tossed the hot veggies with mango salsa.

My son served the steamed tamales (one red, one green) on top of the bed of  lettuce and cherry tomatoes, then spread the mango salsa tossed veggies over the tamales.  The last step was to sprinkle  grated Mexican cheese on top.


tamale dinner ala Second Son

I wasn’t sure how all these flavors would blend, but to my delight, this was extremely delicious!  I’ve got to hand it to my son, not only for the scrumptious dinner, but for taking on cooking risks in the kitchen by being creative and not using a recipe.  Aren’t kids amazing sometimes?

Muy sabroso !   Muchas gracias hijo!

Yo te amo!

This One’s For the Boys!

In CategoryFood

Some like it hot!

Besides baking, there is very little I enjoy cooking in the kitchen … except pizza and bread!  This is “Tony’s Famous Cholula Spicy Chicken Pizza”, and it came from this book .

60 Different Pizza Recipes

It had a robust tomato pizza sauce topped with Cholula soaked, shredded chicken, mozzarella, jalapenos and garlic.  The recipe also called for chorizo, and onion which I chose to leave out.

The boys in my house liked this, but requested that I turn up the heat even more by adding  more jalapenos next time.  I on the other hand, thought it had  good flavor, but was much too hot!, hot!, hot!, for my liking.

Remember that if you just want to browse a recipe book and don’t necessarily want to invest the money to buy it, see if your local library carries it.

This usually works for me, but some lame-o neatly cut out a page containing the  “New York Style Pizza Sauce”,  leaving that section of recipes useless.

Hope you’re enjoying your stolen page.   Tsk… Tsk!

Honey Wheat Bread 1

In CategoryFood

Bread in pan

Here is another bread post of a completely different nature than the artisan bread.  This bread tastes just like the store bought stuff.  I used a modified version of some person’s adaptation of the Honey Wheat Bread I on all recipes.com.

People who know me, know I like the faster baking versions of recipes, so here is my recipe.  Of course I used my bread machine to do all the work.  This bread is really very scrumptious and would work well for sandwiches.  I just can’t get enough bread!

Mmmm Bread!


  • 1/4 cup (100 degree) water
  • 6 oz. milk (lukewarm)
  • 2 Tbs. butter (room temp.)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 Tbs. honey (your choice)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2  cups white (or bread) flour
  • 2 tsp. bread machine yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt

Place in bread machine in the order given by the manufacturer.  I listed the ingredients in the order I put them in my machine.

Select the 1 1/2 pound whole wheat cycle.   Press start!  After about 10-15 minutes of the initial kneading, I added 2 Tbs. of flour.

Ready in about 4 1/2  hours.

Now if I could only learn how to cut the perfect, consistent sized slices!